Caucasians make up 75% percent of all traffic stops in Sulphur Springs, 11% are African-American, and 12% are Hispanic. In a report to the Sulphur Springs City Council Tuesday night, Police Chief Jay Sanders presented an annual racial profiling traffic stop and arrest report. In the report, Sanders pointed out the number of traffic stops for the year total 5113. In those stops officers have only known the race or ethnicity of the driver 350 of those 5113 stops before the stop was made. It was also noted that the local police department has a partial report exemption since the local department vehicles are equipped with video and audio equipment and the videos are maintained for 90 days following the traffic stop and/or arrest.
Sulphur Springs Police Department has adopted a detailed written policy on racial profiling. That policy 1) clearly defines acts constituting racial profiling; 2) strictly prohibits peace officers employed by the Sulphur Springs Police Department from engaging in racial profiling; 3) implements a process by which an individual may file a complaint with the Sulphur Springs Police Department if the individual believes that a peace officer employed by the department has engaged in racial profiling with respect to the individual; 4) provides public education relating to the agency’s complaint process; 5) requires appropriate corrective action to be taken against a peace officer employed by the Sulphur Springs Police Department who, after an investigation, is shown to have engaged in racial profiling in violation of the Sulphur Springs Police Department’s policy adopted under this article; 6) require collection of information relating to motor vehicle stops in which a citation is issued and to arrests made as a result of those stops, including information relating to:
- the race or ethnicity of the individual detained; Page 1 of 3 pages submitted electronically to The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
- whether a search was conducted and, if so, whether the individual detained consented to the search; and
- whether the peace officer knew the race or ethnicity of the individual detained before detaining that individual; and requires the chief administrator of the agency, regardless of whether the administrator is elected, employed, or appointed, to submit an annual report of the information collected under Subdivision (6) to:
- the Commission on Law Enforcement; and
- (B) the governing body of each county or municipality served by the agency, if the agency is an agency of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state.
Information submitted in the report to the council included the Sulphur Springs Police Department Motor Vehicle Racial Profiling information gained from the number of motor vehicle stops. Those stops included 5044 citation only; 41 arrest only; 28 both; for a total of 5113 stops.
The report listed the diversity of those stops to include:
Race or Ethnicity: 607 African; 53 Asian; 3836 Caucasian; 610 Hispanic; 3 Middle Eastern; 4 Native American for a total of 5113.
Race or Ethnicity known prior to stop? 350 Yes; 4763 No; 5113 Total
Search conducted? 123 Yes; 4990 No; 5113 Total
Was search consented? 64 Yes; 59 No; 123 Total